California is known for its perpetual summers, allowing residents to enjoy outdoor time year round. But with this climate comes hot temperatures, especially during certain times of the year. Air conditioners are a homeowner’s best friend, and these systems work hard to keep your indoor air cool and comfy.
But they cost money to operate, and you could inadvertently be spending more than you have to because of certain mistakes you might be making, including the following.
1. Turning Your Thermostat Too Low
It might be sizzling hot out where you are, but turning down the temperature on your thermostat too low in an effort to get some relief from the heat can just crank up your utility bill. While you might think that turning the thermostat down very low will reduce the temperature on your home faster, it actually won’t. All you’ll be doing is forcing your A/C to run longer, which can be costly.
2. Cooling an Empty Home
There’s little point in keeping the indoor air of your home cool if no one will be there to appreciate it. If you’re going to be out of the house for a couple of hours, that’s one thing. But being away for a whole day, weekend, or longer will just be a waste if you leave your A/C cranked the entire time, which brings us to our next point.
3. Not Installing a Programmable Thermostat
If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, you’re missing out on some major savings. Not only can a programmable thermostat be easier on your utility bill, but it will also make things so much more convenient and comfortable in your home.
By automatically increasing or decreasing the temperature during the times of the day when you’re out of the house versus when you’re at home, you can save quite a bit of money. Not having one, on the other hand, can make you spend more on your cooling bills than necessary.
4. Not Using Ceiling Fans
Sometimes all your home might need are a few ceiling fans. These handy items can help to ensure that cool air is constantly circulating in your home, which can take a load off the amount of work that your A/C would have to do to keep your indoor air temperature cool and comfortable. In order for your ceiling fans to work effectively at circulating air, make sure they’re turning counter-clockwise during the times when you most need them.
5. Not Changing Your A/C’s Filters Regularly
Your A/C’s filters are responsible for catching dust that otherwise would circulate throughout the air in your home. As you would imagine, they can become overloaded with dust and debris over time. If they are left to become clogged, not only will this result in poor air quality in your home, but also higher utility bills because your unit will have to work harder.
Changing the air filters on your A/C is a crucial part of keeping the system functioning efficiently, and ignoring this task can cost you more money than you’d care to spend.
6. Not Fixing Leaks and Drafts
Every little leak that may be present around your home’s windows and doors could be the source of what’s causing your utility bills to spike. Some leaks and gaps around door and window trims are noticeable, while others aren’t. There are simple tests that you can conduct that will help to identify if any leaks are present. Failing to seal leaks and gaps with some caulking could be causing cool air to escape, which is the last thing you want to happen.
7. Not Having Proper Window Treatments
A lot of heat can make its way into your home as the sun shines through the windows. If you haven’t outfitted your windows with blinds and curtains, you could be letting in a ton of heat unnecessarily, causing your A/C to have to work overtime to offset the temperature.
8. Not Locking Your Windows
Keeping your windows closed is one thing, but locking them is quite another. While closed windows will certainly keep a lot of heat out, locking them will create that extra seal that will help to ensure that no cool air escapes.
9. Not Having the System Serviced By Professionals Every Year
Your A/C system works hard to keep your interior temperature comfortable for you and your family. But just like any other component of your home, it needs regular attention to make sure it’s in good working order. Consider having the system serviced once a year to ensure it’s operating properly and to identify any potential issues early on.
The Bottom Line
Nobody wants to have to spend any more money than they have to in order to keep their home operational, but you could be spending more on your cooling costs than you have to. Go through this list and see if any of them apply to you and your home. If they do, make sure to address them so you can save quite a bit of money on your utility bill every month.